Law & Politics

Pre-College students outside the US Supreme Court

Surrounded by the nation’s political activity, GW is the perfect place to study the inner workings of the United States’ legislative system.

The university draws on its rich resources and connections to provide dynamic courses in government, politics, law and ethics.

On-campus and online courses are available for credit, while our noncredit offerings focus on experiential learning environments, connecting students with large institutions and experts in their respective fields.

All course offerings are subject to cancellation.

Summer Immersion (noncredit)

Service Learning & Community Leadership

An "A" with a line marked through it Noncredit

the number one One-week program

icon of a calendar  June 24—29, 2018

A healthy community and democracy requires visionary leaders who can help solve the issues that their community is facing. In this course, students will develop their leadership skills to engage key stakeholders, and create strategies that reflect social responsibility. Students will learn best practices in implementing positive change in their communities. 

Students volunteering at the Capital Food Bank

Watching the Watchers: Modern Surveillance

CLASS CANCELED

The letter "A" with a line marked through it Noncredit

the number one One-week program

Calendar Icon  June 24—29, 2018

In the age of technology, private companies and government organizations are constantly profiling personal data to learn who people are to promote their interests. In this course, students will explore the different theories of policing and investigate the systems of surveillance that occur within their own circle (family, friends, community and government). This course extends beyond the privacy vs. security debate and explores different ways ordinary citizens can deconstruct these systems.

Photo of student sitting at a computer

Crime, Justice & Corrections

Noncredit

number two Two-week program

calendar icon  July 1—13, 2018

In Washington, D.C., students are in close proximity to the greatest concentration of federal crime labs and investigatory agencies in the world. In this course, students will examine the field of criminology through the analysis of processes, procedure and ethics as they learn how to employ these principles.

Photos of students with a member of the bomb squad

Social Change & Leadership

Noncredit

The number "2" Two-week program

calendar icon  July 1—13, 2018

Washington, D.C. is the heart of the legislative processes and social movements that influence structural, cultural and ideological change. This course introduces students to questions, opportunities and roadblocks faced by civic and global leaders. It will expand their leadership capacity and teach them to translate their values and ideas into action to create the change they want to see in their communities.

Pre-college student giving a speech

U.S. Foreign Policy: Multilateralism

Noncredit

The number "2" Two-week program

calendar icon  July 1—13, 2018

The globalization of economic, political, social and cultural activity has increased society’s need for international understanding and cooperation. This course will expose students to viewpoints and perspectives of foreign policymakers and explore multilateral approaches to international issue.  Students will gain a basic understanding of how to analyze and articulate foreign policy. 

Photo of students at the Institute of Peace in D.C.

Communication & Negotiation in a Global Context

Noncredit

the number two Two-week program

calendar icon  July 15—27, 2018

This course introduces students to principles and theories of communication in organizational and professional environments. Students will learn communication strategies essential to thriving in today’s interconnected world, focusing on cross-cultural communication, leadership, diplomacy and public speaking skills.

Young female student participating in a mock trial

Principles of International Law

Noncredit

the number two Two-week program

calendar icon  July 15—27, 2018

What do killer robots, lethal drones, and acts of global terrorism have in common with disappearing polar regions, space exploration and nuclear war? These issues--and many others of increasing importance--are all governed by, and thus must adhere to, multinational agreements that form the foundation of international law. In this course, students will employ an interactive, hands-on methodology to think critically about the various topics, raise questions about how the different structures work and make individual contributions within a cooperative framework.

Photo of students at a lecture at the National Archives

Public Policy on Capitol Hill

Noncredit

the number two Two-week program

calendar icon  July 15—27, 2018

Public policy is the way in which public issues are addressed through modifying existing laws and regulations or creating new ones altogether. In this course, students will think strategically, creatively and critically about current issues shaping the public debate, and learn to analyze and evaluate policies and programs in pursuit of public interest.

U.S. Capitol Building

Fake News... or Not? Politics in the Press

Noncredit

the number two Two-week program

calendar icon  July 29—August 10, 2018

Given how technology has transformed the world’s media outlet and dominated our newsfeed, “fake news” has become a prevalent concept that questions journalistic standards, codes and ethics. Being centered in Washington, D.C. allows students to study the interplay of media, public affairs and politics which is at the forefront of this phenomenon. In this course, students will critically investigate this controversial topic, and explore the role media plays in civic and political life. They will also focus on understanding communication, news production, media law, history and ethics.

A student in the Newseum sitting at a mock news desk.

Leadership in Action (for English-Language Learners)

Noncredit

the number two Two-week program

calendar icon  July 29—August 10, 2018

This course will introduce international students to concepts of global leadership and provide an opportunity for them to engage with policy makers and practitioners across multiple disciplines such as social sciences, humanities and STEM fields. They will also gain global perspectives and develop problem-solving techniques that cultivate organization, teamwork and presentation skills to help them navigate the world.

 

An international student at a conference asking a question

Making History: Transformative Leaders

Noncredit

the number two Two-week program

calendar icon  July 29—August 10, 2018

Were you born a leader or do you transform into one? In this course, students will engage in a series of lectures, guided interaction, and experiential learning to explore the principles of global leadership. Using their learned skills in individual and group leadership, students will be able to hone in their decision-making, strategic and management skills, thus influencing and affecting change in their communities.

Photo of students holding campaign signs

National Security: The Intelligence Community & Counter-Terrorism

Noncredit

the number two Two-week program

calendar icon  July 29—August 10, 2018

Washington, D.C. is the hub of U.S. national security. This course introduces students to the relationship between national security and policymaking. It will highlight the complexities of the U.S. national security agenda from perspectives of the legislative, executive and judicial branches, and the impact of national security practices by the FBI, U.S. Secret Service, and Pentagon agencies.

Photo of student at the State Department podium

Pre-Law: Trial & Advocacy

Noncredit

the number two Two-week program

calendar icon  July 29—August 10, 2018

In this course, students will learn what it takes to prepare cases: interview clients; negotiate out of court settlements; act as an advocate at trial and argue cases on appeal. Given the university’s location in Washington, D.C., students will benefit from a vibrant and engaging legal community and learn about different settings in which lawyers practice. Students will also have an opportunity to explore legal ethics and the role lawyers play in helping to ensure fairness in the justice system.

 

A student participating in a mock trial.

College Intensive (credit)

American Politics

Three credits

number threeThree-week program

  July 1—20, 2018

This course is ideal for students without prior background in political studies and who are interested in a survey of American political systems and processes, including topics such as the U.S. Constitution, media and politics, policy studies, international relations and survey research, among others.

Photo of student giving a speech

Caminos al Futuro

Three credits

the number three Three-week program

  July 1—20, 2018

  Scholarship Opportunity

This is a full scholarship residential summer program that engages high-achieving juniors (rising seniors) from U.S. high schools in academic leadership development. Caminos al Futuro seeks to cultivate leadership potential and scholarship in students who desire to shape issues impacting Hispanic and Latino communities.

Photo of Caminos students in front of the US Capitol building

INSPIRE Program

Three credits

the number three Three-week program

  July 1—20, 2018

  Scholarship Opportunity

The INSPIRE program is a full scholarship open to Native American, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian rising junior and senior high school students who want to learn about intergovernmental relations between tribal governments and the federal government.

INSPIRE students in front of the Supreme Court building

International Organizations & Global Governance

Three credits

the number three Three-week program

  July 1—20, 2018

This course provides an overview of major international organizations and investigates how they effect change in global governance. Students will learn about the political cooperation needed to successfully negotiate responses to global financial crises and promote multilateral trade agreements, as well as confront challenges to international security and environmental concerns. Importantly, by understanding how international organizations, such as the United Nations, International Monetary Fund, World Bank Group and the World Trade Organization influence global peace and security, as well as economic and human development, students will be better positioned to assess the role played by emerging economies and newly formed international organizations, such as the Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank.

A group of students at the World Bank

The Global Refugee Crisis

COURSE CANCELED

Three credits Three credits

the number three Three-week program

  July 1—20, 2018

Explore the dynamics of the current global refugee crisis and the challenges it poses for international law, humanitarian assistance providers, host communities, and refugees. This course discusses international humanitarian law and the institutional landscape for refugee assistance; minimum standards of humanitarian assistance; the politics of refugee policy through in-depth case studies, and ideas for innovation and strengthening the global response.  Students will engage in critical analysis of current policy and practice, with the aim of formulating policy-based recommendations for strengthening the international response to our current crisis. 

Students giving a presentationT

PSC 1001: Introduction to Comparative Politics

Three credits

the number six Six-week program

calendar graphic  July 1—August 10, 2018

computer graphic Online course: May 21—June 30, 2018

Concepts and principles of comparative analysis, with an examination of politics and government in selected countries.

PSC 1002: Introduction to American Politics & Government

Three credits

the number six Six-week program

calendar icon July 1—August 10, 2018

computer graphic Online course: May 21—June 30, 2018

Structure, powers and processes of the American political system and the impact on public policy.

PSC 2106: Major Issues of Western Political Thought

Three credits

the number six Six-week program

calendar icon  July 1—August 10, 2018

History of political thought from the 16th through the late 19th century, as set forth in the works of representative thinkers.

PSC 2383: Comparative Politics of Latin America

Three credits

the number six Six-week program

calendar icon July 1—August 10, 2018

The politics of selected countries in South America, Central America and the Caribbean. Emphasis on democratization.

Prerequisite: Introduction to Comparative Politics.

PSC 2440: Theories of International Politics

Three credits

the number six Six-week program

calendar icon July 1—August 10, 2018

Exploration of alternative theoretical approaches to understanding world politics in its historical and contemporary dimensions.

REL 3990: Comparative Politics & Religion

Three credits

the number six Six-week program

calendar icon July 1—August 10, 2018

Critical examination of religious phenomena and comparative politics.

GEOG 2127: Population Geography

Three credits

the number six Six-week program

computer icon  Online course

calendar icon  May 21—June 30, 2018; July 2—August 11, 2018

Patterns of world population; factors contributing to population pressures, growth and migrations.

HIST 2340: U.S. Diplomatic HIstory

Three credits

the number six Six-week program

computer graphic  Online course

  May 21—June 30, 2018; July 2—August 11, 2018

American foreign relations in the 20th century.

PHIL 2131: Ethics: Theory & Applications

Three credits

the number six Six-week program

computer graphic  Online course

calendar icon  July 2—August 11, 2018

Examination of leading ethical theories (e.g., utilitarianism, deontology, virtue ethics) and methodology in ethics. Engagement with contemporary problems.

PHIL 2132W: Social & Political Philosophy

Three credits

the number six Six-week program

computer graphic  Online course

calendar icon  July 2—August 11, 2018

Philosophical theories about how economic, political, legal and cultural institutions should be arranged. Topics include the meaning and significance of liberty, the legitimate functions of government, the nature of rights, the moral significance of social inequality and the meaning of democracy.

PSC 1001: Introduction to Comparative Politics

Three credits

the number six Six-week program

calendar graphic  July 1—August 10, 2018

computer graphic Online course: May 21—June 30, 2018

Concepts and principles of comparative analysis, with an examination of politics and government in selected countries.

PSC 1002: Introduction to American Politics & Government

Three credits

the number six Six-week program

calendar icon July 1—August 10, 2018

computer graphic Online course: May 21—June 30, 2018

Structure, powers and processes of the American political system and the impact on public policy.

SMPA 2120: Public Opinion

Three credits

the number six Six-week program

computer graphic  Online course

calendar icon  May 21—June 30, 2018

Key aspects of the literature on public opinion, with emphasis on the role of media in opinion formation and change. Topics include the meaning of public opinion in a democratic society, a review of methods used to measure opinions and media effects on opinion.